Places of Mind

A Life of Edward Said

Timothy Brennan author


Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Published:14th Apr '22


Available for immediate dispatch.

Places of Mind cover

The first comprehensive biography of the most influential, controversial, and celebrated intellectual of the twentieth century

'An intimate portrait ... Critical, generous and heartfelt' Ahdaf Soueif, Guardian'An intriguing account of an alluring but evasive character’ Daily Telegraph Drawing on extensive archival sources and hundreds of interviews, Timothy Brennan’s Places of Mind is the first comprehensive biography of Said, one of the most controversial and celebrated intellectuals of the 20th century. In Brennan’s masterful work, Said, the pioneer of post-colonial studies, a tireless champion for his native Palestine, and an erudite literary critic, emerges as a self-doubting, tender, and eloquent advocate of literature’s dramatic effects on politics and civic life. Places of Mind charts the intertwined routes of Said’s intellectual development, revealing him as a study in opposites: a cajoler and strategist, a New York intellectual with a foot in Beirut, an orchestra impresario in Weimar and Ramallah, a raconteur on national television, a Palestinian negotiator at the State Department, and an actor in films in which he played himself. Brennan traces the Arab influences of Said’s thinking along with his tutelage under Lebanese statesmen, off-beat modernist auteurs, and New York literati, as Said grew into a scholar whose influential writings changed the face of university life forever. With both intimidating brilliance and charm, Said turned these resources into a groundbreaking counter-tradition of radical humanism, set against the backdrop of techno-scientific dominance and religious war. With unparalleled clarity, Said gave the humanities a new authority in the age of Reaganism that continues today. Drawing on the testimonies of family, friends, students, and antagonists alike, and aided by FBI files, unpublished writing, and Said’s drafts of novels and personal letters, Places of Mind captures Said’s intellectual breadth and influence in an unprecedented, intimate, and compelling portrait of one of the great minds of the twentieth century.

A patient and thorough biography … An intriguing account of an alluring but evasive character * Daily Telegraph *
A powerful book which is at times as difficult and demanding as its subject … Here was a superstar who blazed a rich cultural and literary legacy * Spectator *
Brennan draws on an imposing array of material to write the first comprehensive portrait of one of America’s most distinguished postwar intellectuals * New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice *
An exceptionally fluent intellectual biography that synthesises the complex influences on his work while outlining the details of his life -- Patrick French * Sunday Times *
The life of the author of Orientalism * Sunday Times, The Books of 2021 *
Critical, generous and heartfelt ... An intimate portrait … Brennan’s achievement is to do justice to the many things Said was and to articulate the synapses that connected his different worlds ... He has provided us with what you might call a manual of Said; a map of his thoughts and his positions, which, change as they did, could always be traced to a core set of ideas and drives and to do this without ever blunting Said’s subtlety or smudging the clarity of his ideas -- Ahdaf Soueif * Guardian *
Brennan – a former student of Said who is now a professor of comparative literature at the University of Minnesota – was given unprecedented access by Said’s family to the unpublished manuscripts … Places of Mind: a Life of Edward Said, which is published by Bloomsbury, sheds new light on how, after a lifetime of teaching literature, Said came to reject the novel in 1992 as a literary form * Observer *
An impressive and rigorous study * Irish Times *
A remarkably unhindered and often incisive intellectual portrait of its subject * New Statesman *
In the first comprehensive biography of Said, Brennan, a former student, highlights the Palestinian scholar’s complexity, delivering a portrait of a thinker, activist and musician endowed with an unusually restless and protean intellect * New York Times, Books of the Week *
Almost 20 years after his death, one of Said’s former students, Timothy Brennan, has written an expansive new biography of Said’s life and ideas ... Brennan presents the scholarly Said as a dazzling processing power operating at warp speed, a mind capable of metabolizing, reorienting and rendering theory with technological precision * Washington Post *
[An] intense and rewarding book * Wall Street Journal *
Masterful and accomplished … Impressively researched and powerfully written, it charts Said’s many triumphs * New Republic *
Steeped in Western culture, the great critic of Western narratives came to his post-colonialist convictions gradually but with growing intensity -- Pankaj Mishra * New Yorker *
A comprehensive biography of the celebrated intellectual and pioneer of postcolonial studies, authorised by his estate and drawing on extensive archival sources and interviews * Irish Independent, Books to Look Out for in 2021 *

ISBN: 9781526614643

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

464 pages